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Naked Wines set to be a ‘long-term winner’ from the pandemic-propelled shift online

Naked Wines says customers are continuing to buy wine online following the Covid-19 pandemic

Naked Wines chief executive Nick Devlin says that Naked Wines will be a long-term winner from the pandemic-driven shift online after a year in which its sales grew by more than two thirds. 

The wine pureplay says in a full-year trading update today that sales grew by about 68% in the year to March 29 2021, with sales in its US business growing by three-quarters (+75%) to account for 45% of group sales and become the company’s largest market. 

Over the year, the retailer spent about 10% more than it had expected to in wooing new customers – but repeat orders were 5% higher than it had forecast. It now has 885,000 active subscribers – or angels. That’s about 50% more than it did at the beginning of the year. 

Devlin says: “Whilst in some ways 2021 is as difficult to predict as 2020, I believe we have seen an enduring shift of demand online across multiple categories. Ultimately whilst Covid has driven the trial of many online models, the long-term winners will be the businesses that offer customers a genuinely differentiated offer: I firmly believe Naked will be one of those long-term winners. 

“We are committed to further strengthening our proposition and have identified multiple areas to invest in enhancing our customer and wine proposition in the year ahead. The past twelve months have been exceptionally challenging for winemakers the world over and I’m delighted we have been able to use our platform to support over 235 extremely talented independent winemakers to not just survive but grow with us. More than ever I’m excited to work creating a unique platform that connects some of the world’s best winemakers directly with a passionate community of wine drinkers.” 

Naked Wines, previously Majestic Wine, completed its strategy of shifting from the multichannel  Majestic Wine model to the online-only Naked Wines strategy in 2019, shortly before the Covid-19 pandemic emerged. Naked Wines founder Rowan Gormley, who went on to became chief executive of Majestic Wines, retired in November 2019, handing over to Devlin, who previously headed its US business. Naked Wines now works with more than 235 winemakers to serve customers in the US, UK and Australia. 

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